Boko Haram VS Joint Task Force: Who's Doing More Damage?

Boko Haram VS Joint Task Force: Who's Doing More Damage?

Since 2009, an estimated 2,800 people have died as a result of Boko Haram's insurgency and the military response by the Nigerian government. After a recent spate of killings by security agents, some Maiduguri residents feel this destruction now overshadows the menace of the Islamist sect.

Thirty young men were killed last month and another forty publicly shot last Thursday by operatives of the Nigerian Joint Task Force (JTF).

Boko Haram VS Joint Task Force: Who's Doing More Damage?

"What is happening in Maiduguri is very disturbing and heartbreaking," says a young grains trader, who prefers to remain anonymous. "I lost three cousins in one of these killings. The murderous activities of soldiers and policemen who kill senselessly must be stopped. The thirty young men who were killed last month had no trial to prove their guilt. I swear: if the youths get angry, not even the soldiers can stop them."

Government patience gone

The administration of Goodluck Jonathan has apparently run out of patience with the Islamist sect after repeatedly failing at establishing communication.

"You can't blame the soldiers," says a civil servant from Maiduguri who is spending his annual leave in Jos in the Plateau State. "The government has tried to talk, but the sect refuses to come to the dialogue table and they continue to wreck havoc on Nigerians. It's very unfortunate that innocent Nigerians are caught in the crossfire but I'm happy with what the soldiers are doing. I think the use of force is the only option the Nigerian government has."

'Terrorist ties'

"I think the destruction and killings by soldiers in Maiduguri are avoidable," says David Bah, a student of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University in Bauchi. "The soldiers are very angry with the residents because they often accommodate and shield the terrorists. If community members cooperate with the soldiers I'm sure some of the extrajudicial killings will be avoided."

"I was born in Gwange area of Miaduguri," says the grains trader who conducts his his work between Bauchi, Gombe and the south of Nigeria. "I don't look forward to going home because almost daily I get phone calls from home about my peers being killed by soldiers. They're supposed to protect us. But if they keep killing us, how can we trust them or even offer help?"

What is your opinion on the matter? Which organization causes more damage? Why? Is violence a necessary tool in securing law and order?

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